Category Archives: Technology

A Free Egypt

Free Egypt
Image taken from Al Jazeera English

Yesterday evening the greatest revolution was a success. Thanks to the youth of Egypt, the entire population of ~80 million people have been freed. That might sound a little pretentious, however it really is true. For the last 30 years Egypt has been under rule by a dictator who really does rule with iron fist. If anyone spoke badly about him they usually gave him a warning of beatings, if it was done again, they usually disappeared. All this was known by the people, however to the world he presented a fair and loved image.

I remember once I was in Egypt and plain clothed police tried to give me a hard time for standing in front of a hotel which my sister was staying in. I didn’t mind them and told them to stop annoying me. Since I live out in the western world this was normal to me, however to them this was very abnormal. They told me to give them my Egyptian national ID, which I told them I don’t have. They asked how come, and I told them I live out of the country. I gave them my Seneca College ID and didn’t care if I got it back as I transferred to Concordia University. They thought they had me. Then my friend came with his father to pick me up and because he is a big shot they shut up and didn’t say anything and even apologized. However what really annoys me is why this treatment in the first place? Why does someone in Egypt have to have a connection or be someone big to be treated well (and not because they want to treat them well, just because that’s the way the system works)?

Anyways that is how the system has been working for the last 30 years under Hosni Mubarak. I am thankful I have not lived there to experience the depressed state that people there have forcefully had on the for so long, seriously this is what causes people to live without any hope. I seriously can not believe someone has the heart to do that, not even to one person, but to 80 million. It is not only him though, he is the ring leader, all his family and cronies are the same. All of them have billions of dollars.

So why was the youth able to pull this revolution off? Well recent events sparked the thoughts I think. The revolution in Tunisia was the first incident and probably the most important. What happened there was a man by the name of Mohamed Bouzazizi was an educated graduate that could not find work, so he sold fruits on a street card to make ends meat. When his fruits were taken and he was slapped by the police he lost it. He lit himself on fire in protest to the way things work in the country. This caused an uprising of protests which eventually made the President Ben Ali step down. Next in Egypt someone bombed a Church in Alexandria (now thought to be the plot of Habib al Adly). What the government wanted was to divide the people of Egypt into distinct groups in order to preoccupy their minds in order to avoid what happened in Tunisia. What better way to do that then by religion. So they bombed the Church in order to stay in power. However their plan did not work, and Muslims reached out to the Christians. Next the Egyptian youth organized online using social media in order to form a revolution to overthrow the current regime. Headed by Wael Ghonim they headed to Tahrir square on January 25th 2011. I’m not sure if the Egyptian government knew about and underestimated the power of Facebook and twitter, or they didn’t know about it. Anyways the protest quickly gained momentum with everyone, even foreigners joining.

The regime tried to use scare tactics and force in order to quell the protesters. First they played it off like it was not a big deal, and ignored the movement while saying that the people have the right to protest in hopes of it dying down quickly. When it actually gained ground, they started using everything they have in order to regain power of the situation. They used state television to spread propaganda, shut off the internet and telephone communication, hired thugs (plain clothed police officers) to hold pro-Mubarak protests, attack the peaceful protestors, even with horses, camels and running them over with vehicles which the state tv quickly denied. All throughout this, the regime said they understand what the people want, and Hosni Mubarak will punish the corrupt officials in the government. Thing is though, he is the one that is to blame. He was in denial, knowing what was going on and just playing dumb. This angered the people even more. Finally he used one more tactic, having his regime announce that he would come on tv and resign. When he did come one late as usual, he said he would not step down. He wanted to anger the protesters in order to justify deadly force against them, however this tactic failed again and he had no more tricks up his sleeve and had to resign. The coward didn’t even have the guts to do it himself and had his goon Omar Suliman do it for him.

I don’t have a great knowledge of history but I do know that Egypt was great back in the day. So what caused this revolution to be so strong and able to withstand the brutal tactics of a coward for 18 days? First they have been living in terrible conditions for the last 30 years and didn’t want one more second of it. Secondly if they were to go home as the regime wanted them to, things would get way worse and it would turn into a complete police state, in which after Hosni Mubarak left his son would take over. I want to make it completely clear that when Hosni Mubarak said that he was not running and again and his son too, he was completely just saying that in order to trick people that there would be change, even if that was true he would hand the power to his cronies, which is the same thing in the back office, with different faces on the front.

In conclusion I would first like to thank all the people who risked their lives, especially the martyrs that have been killed supporting this revolution, of course Mohamed Bouzazizi for sending a harsh message that took his life, Al Jazeera and Al Arabeya for reporting the truth to the world, and finally the Christians and Muslims of Egypt for sticking together and not allowing anything divide them. I have never been more proud of being an Egyptian, and a human being.

P.S.: Some of this post is just my opinion, so don’t go using it for a source on Wikipedia. I might have gotten things chronologically incorrect, missed a few things, or made other mistakes.

How the iPhone 4 re-upped the ante

Facetime Screen

When the first iPhone came out, it changed the way the mobile phone industry was operating, all other companies scrambled to put something together that would be worthy to battle the iPhone. While some were successful (Google, maybe Nokia), other where not in my opinion (RIM/Blackberry). When I say that, I am not talking about sales, I am talking about a phone and operating system that are coherent.

Next we can all agree that the next two iPhones were just upgrades that were nothing too special other than at the time they were released (except for the 3G upgrade). So when the iPhone 4 came out, it had a new feature called Facetime. What is Facetime you ask? It is a video calling technology that Apple developed. You might think to yourself, who cares Nokia and Sony Ericsson have that that since around 2005. While that may be true, I’ve had the first Nokia phone that had a front facing camera, as well as many others, yet how many times did I use a video call in those three years? Exactly once (no joke), and I was sitting next to the person I was having the call with. We were just testing out the technology. As Felix Dennis mentions in his book How To Get Rich the key to being successful is not about having a great idea, it’s all about execution, and Apple executes second to none.

One of the really cool things about Facetime is that you don’t even need cellular reception to make a call (which makes video calls free all over the world!). Check out this video below of me giving directions to a friend while in the middle of the woods! We had no reception, yet we had wifi internet. While all other phones in the cabin (blackberries) were out of luck when it came to making phone calls, at least I could call people that have a Facetime device (at that time only the iPhone 4).

TinEye: Cool image search engine

Today I was looking at pages that referred traffic to my site and I traced them. I found one very interesting link. TinEye is a new Image search engine, that can find where similar images are on the internet compared to ones that you upload or link to. Someone had uploaded an image of Mfi Multiloader and TinEye linked back to my site. However I noticed that it saves searches in its database which might cause some privacy issues.  None the less this search engine is really cool, and is already being used by Adobe, Associated Press, Digg. If you still don’t understand how this works, just take a look at the video on the faq page.

Kingmax 8gb Super Stick

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I got this 8gb super stick from kingmax, it was reccomended by kevin rose. Its washing machine and dryer safe (really cool). The read and write speeds are slower than my 8gb cruzer contour but thats the trade off for the tiny size. All in all its a really cool usb stick!

Concordia Opensearch Plugin Updated

Well, as some of you might have noticed the Concordia Site has been updated, so I have updated my Opensearch plugin (which you can use with firefox or Internet Explorer 7, However i reccomend Firefox as always) this plugin will make searching the concordia.ca website much easier by just having it in the browser so you dont have to go to concordia.ca to search you can search anytime!

Click Here (and then click on Concordia.ca)

Concordia University OpenSearch Plugin (Created by Me, Ahmed Karam)

Hey everyone, I just got my new laptop and one of the first things i like to do is personalize Firefox (best internet browser) and as you all know i go to Concordia University In Montreal, Quebec. So I created an Open Search plugin for Firefox (ok fine it works on internet explorer 7 as well) which allows you to search the Concordia Site from within Firefox (or ie7) without opening the Concordia site. You can download it here

Gmail Paper

WOW, thats it no one can take on Google, i wont even take the time to explain because i wont be as efficient and well presented as Google, so just click the link and see how cool Google is. OK NEVERMIND I BET ITS AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE, ill find out soon, even if it is pretty smart idea, what i think it will be is the same as gmail they annouced it as a joke and it was real hence the joke was the joke.

UPDATE: I was right its an April fools joke non the less it was a great idea.

Gmail Paper